So you've got a head start on the others.
My hobby is plotting out in extraordinary detail the shape my future hobbies will take.
I'll definitely be the kind of model train enthusiast who favors really complicated layouts over the emulation of actual tracks, for instance.
This is why I'm taking up hand-tool-only woodworking. The level of fussiness required appeals.
I know a guy who's really into hand-tool woodworking and I think is pursuing it professionally. It seems really cool.
You know what they apparently don't make like they used to? Hand tools. For woodworking, pervert.
Gardening has the downside that plants can get WHOA HEY VERY OUT OF HAND while your back is turned. Wood just sits there quietly, for the most part, when you're not working it.
British car collecting! Wooden boat building!
Okay those are actually the two at the top of my "do not engage" list.
Right. I spend a lot of time on e-bay looking for various hand planes, mortising chisels, etc. I also spend a lot of time losing because I'm not willing to just throw tons of cash into the hobby.
Chopper I know a hardware store in Maine you should avoid at all costs.
ALthough if I really wanted to drop cash, I can get new-made tools as could as have ever been made. They're just really expensive.
11. Yeah, I'm more of a "find the guy at the flea market who doesn't know what he's selling" kind of guy.
Also: cooking, sewing, weaving* (any kind of hand-work, really), writing ... gardening doesn't strike me as involving tiny details, really, unless it's flower/landscape gardening**. Vegetable gardening is kind of blunt.
* I maintain a relationship with my ex's mother, who's a weaver. I find it lovely to discuss it with her; I know not a thing, but she greatly enjoys the discussion. Apparently twill is her thing.
** I don't get that, and never will.
Hand tools. For woodworking, pervert.
I once saw some beautiful extra-fancy metal guides for half-blind dovetail joints and coveted them, though of course the likelihood of my ever using them for their proper purpose is essentially nil.
13: oh I don't think it's overpriced. Quite the opposite.
If anyone wants any hand woodworking magazines, I think we have some at the bookshop.
Please for to excuse the could/good typo in 12. I plead excessive-cocktail-itis. Not quite btocked, but we haven't opened the wine yet, so.
Or, I guess, for any kind of dovetail? I don't know, which tells you everything you need to know about how much I need such an item.
17: What are the pubs? Popular Woodworking is kind of leading the charge lately, but I'm always happy to learn about others.
20: Um, give me a minute. I'm not sure my version of the database is up to date.
Sigh. I aspire to btockedness tonight, as friends are in from out of town, but I am also feeling pretty sick. I have a couple of hours to decide.
I like immersing myself in accounts of other people's hobbies without practicing them myself. I'm kind of obsessed with nail blogs. I never wear nail polish myself, but the colors are so satisfying, and the degree of complication (cremes v. jellies, Seche Vite vs. clear topcoat, and finding that perfect mushroom grey creme with subtle opalescent glitter flecks) is really appealing. It makes me wish I could wear nail polish.
Couldn't you? I'm sure the right color would be very flattering.
To the maker of the nail polish, I mean.
I play the guitar, so it would flake right off in minutes. Sometimes I buy polish and paint the edges of my saucers and the undersides of my cups.
Despite the fact that I live in a tiny studio apartment, I've wasted immense amounts of time reading Woodgears.ca, its full of amazing feats of woodworking daring-do, focused mainly on building workworking machines, using other woodworking machines, out of wood.
I saw this green-gold nail polish in a magazine the other day that made me positively swoon.
Light Rail, how are you doing?
On the woodworking (and otherwise) derring-do, the Foxfire books are of course seminal. A person could always construct a fireplace from scratch, or build a stone wall. Oh my.
focused mainly on building workworking machines, using other woodworking machines, out of wood
Sounds a little solipsistic.
Pretty neat site though. I have this idea for using 2x4 scrap as bricks for small buildings that I should really try to do, at least as a proof-of-concept next summer.
I spend way too much time reading Fine Woodworking ("Three Federal Legs", "Controlling Squeeze-out", "Controlling Rip-out","Three-Way Mitered Joint with Hand and Power Tools"). Feeds my need for a hand-rubbed finish, IYKWIMITYD.
Someday I will try chip-carving, and make all the plans in 507 Mechanical Movements available on Thingiverse, and pleach an allée, and weave our vows as rope memory, and recane my grandfather's rocking chairs, and graft a fruit-salad tree -- hm, maybe in the allée.
Although a lot of their nice things are antiques, I guess.
... I'm not going to be painting my nails, but that was an entertaining interlude. I might have all the inks. (Except that finishing off a bottle of ink is wierdly delightful.)
H. O. Studley's tool chest.
Those ink reviews are pretty neat.
A few years ago I asked a very meticulous machinist to make some u-shaped brackets for mounting a large leaded-glass shield on a piece of scientific equipment. I gave him a rough sketch with a lot of latitude, and soon received four beautifully machined aluminum brackets that looked like large extra-wide tuning forks.
Taking the hint, I tapped on them, and they all rang out. Pretty soon I was glued to my watch counting very infrequent beats - they were all well within 1 Hz of each other in frequency. He had machined them so precisely, they all rang at exactly the same pitch. Knowing this machinist, I wasn't too surprised.
However, he had his laugh the next day, and I was blown away, when I brought in a real tuning fork and found that all my brackets rang at precisely the same note as the tuning fork - the standard A above middle-C, 440 Hz.
I had a physics department shop make a rack for vials for a mass spec a while ago. I wanted it to hold them tightly, to reduce strain on the needle, but I would have liked enough clearance that Sharpie labeling didn't scrape off.
Watching too much TV is a hobby, right?
When I was a kid I had so many artsy hobbies. These days I just idly fantasize about taking a break from particle physics to do condensed matter physics or climate science.
Someone tried to break into a house across the street from my parents' place earlier (while the residents were home!) so tonight my hobby is being really jumpy about random outdoor sounds.
Is it possible to have a hobby for just one night?
(Let us imagine a god creating a country instantaneously in the middle of the wilderness, which exists for two minutes and is an exact reproduction of a part of America, with everything that is going on there in two minutes. Just like those in America, the people are pursuing a variety of occupations. Children are in school. Some people are doing mathematics. Some perpetually nervous people are jumping at random outdoor sounds. Now let us contemplate the activity of some human being during these two minutes. One of these people is doing exactly what a perpetually nervous person in America is doing, who is just jumping at a random outdoor sound.--Ought we to say that this two-minute-man is nervous? Could we for example not imagine a past and a continuation of these two minutes, which would make us call the processes something quite different?)
That's not the paragraph I was looking for, but it's one I found, and it'll do.
Could we for example not imagine a past and a continuation of these two minutes, which would make us call the processes something quite different?
Given the way you're brandishing that poker, I'm inclined to say yes, we can imagine this.
Given the way you're brandishing that poker
I really should've said "habitually nervous", which would anyway have been more to the point.
When you get all your fine woodworking tools, you need to make one of these.
46: But then I wouldn't have "The Boy With The Perpetual Nervousness" in my head.
30: It looks they may just be temporary cutting my hours, instead of laying me off, but, its all in limbo right now.
Instantaneously creating Americans ab nihilo doesn't sound like much of a hobby. Where's the challenge? I like my Americans like I like my whisky - aged for decades in their natural environment.
50: I thought at first this was a reference to the current mini-baby-boom 'round these parts.
I'm really excited about starting homebrewing again. I want to work my way up to homebrewing sour beers. The microbiology of it sounds really fun, I want my own yeast/bugs mix.
But I'm also a little annoyed about how one hobby blends into another: I don't want to actually construct my own manifold for a mash tun. That sort of playing with pipes and stuff just doesn't look like as much fun to me.
Since I'm home for the holidays, I got to see what my dad has done with his train set in retirement. It is really something special. I'm full blown envious.
Joey and I make things out of Legos, which satisfies some of the desire to play with building toys. But when you are playing with a 7 year old, things get wrecked as quickly as they are built, and none of the unused pieces are ever organized properly.
Basically, you have to wait until you are 65 to really play with children's toys well.
Playing guitar, and photography. Those are the only two hobbies that have stuck. I take both fairly seriously, but there's still tons to learn and improve, so it doesn't get boring.
I really fancy getting into instrument making. Guitars, lutes, and other members of that family. I occasionally eye kits for building lutes, as that might be a nice start.
Also, maybe getting into old/alt photo pritning processes. The non-toxic ones, anyway. Maybe when I have more free time (yeah, right).
I'm better than ten years into my hobby of stalking distant cousins and their narratives. Just last night, I learned that the first husband of a fourth cousin from Springfield Mass, many years and two failed marriages after the split, jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge. What a thing.
Hey ttaM, if you were going to buy a second lens for a DSLR besides the 18-55 it comes with, and you wanted to do nice-ish shortish focal plane pictures of people in variable lighting, what would you get? One of those 50-200mm jobs? Pretend also that you wanted something fairly cheap.
I really fancy getting into instrument making.
This can be done. A mate of mine chucked in his job when he was about 50 and started making bass guitars (which are what he's always played), acoustic mostly. He studied for years, then announced that his tutor had told him to give away the first 10 he made, because they wouldn't be good enough to sell. But he persevered.
Maybe when I have more free time (yeah, right)
Come on! You're about to have
a baby negative free time.
Taking up knitting was the best idea ever: meditative in the cheapest sense and productive of nice gifts for friends. I recommend it to one and all! It has also done away once and for all with that pesky habit I may have had once of reading books. I am going to go try to finish a garment right now, during which time I will not be reading Ulysses.
He studied for years, then announced that his tutor had told him to give away the first 10 he made, because they wouldn't be good enough to sell. But he persevered.
Small margin, but he can make it up in volume.
My hobby (currently on hiatus due to living in an apartment) is building small rocket engines. I have a little portable test stand and everything. Sadly the lease on my apartment forbids me from storing flammable stuff, and testing on the porch would get me in trouble in a variety of ways. One day I'll have proper workshop space and I can try my hand at a tube-wall regeneratively cooled engine like the big boys use.
Ah yes; scientific glassblowing (53) and making a clavichord (55.2). (Helped my dad make a virginals when I was about 7. Tiny patient fingers make good jigs.)
Hm, I think my dreams in the way of making things have to do with gardening, or food in general: a rack for sun-drying tomatoes, say.
In my wilder dreams, I'd like to learn fire spinning. It worries me a bit that I don't think this is ever going to happen.
Yeah, I have a couple of friends who are semi-pro luthiers. I don't think either make a full living at it, but both successfully sell instruments and repair existing ones.
I'd love to make a proper archtop guitar. By which I don't mean the sort of over-built heavy-topped unresponsive things that mostly pass for archtops now.
Tiny patient fingers make good jigs.
I have never known the tiny-fingered folks to be very patient.
57: There's an inexpensive Canon 50mm that everyone gets.
What about Nikon, hypothetically?
I missed 57, but what 68 says.
Both the big manufacturers do cheapish 50mm lenses. You'll get approx 75mm equivalent field of view, which is shorter than classic 'portrait' lens on 35mm type cameras, which is normally slightly longer,. Somewhere between 85 - 135mm equivalent. But a 50mm is pretty close to a portrait lens on a crop-format dSLR, versatile and a cheap lens. Well under 100 quid here for the Nikon one. Which is insanely cheap by new 'prime' lens standards.
If you don't mind a manual focus lens, you could get a second hand lens with an even wider maximum aperture, which would be better for shallow depth of field. But you need to check they are compatible with your body for metering and whether you can actually manually focus in low-ish light with a dSLR. Many people can't [including me] as the focusing screens on most consumer dSLRs are shit.
I wouldn't, personally, get a 50-200mm zoom for portraits, unless I could afford one with a fairly fast aperture range. Which tends to mean expensive. You'll get shallower depth of field with a 50mm lens at f1.8 or f2 than a zoom lens at a similar or slightly longer focal length at f4 or f5.6.
Last birthday, I took up sewing quilts by hand. I've done enough work to have several quilts, but haven't actually finished any yet. The one for our bed should be pretty awesome, when I finish. I don't know what my dream hobbies would be, but I'd like more time for the hobbies I have already.
Hm, that sounds to be something like this doohickey? Cool. Thanks, guys! ttaM and emdash should have a baby picture-off.
That's a 35mm lens, not a 50.
We both mean 'actual 50mm lens' not '50mm equivalent'. You won't get the same shallow depth of field with the 35mm or the same separation between subject and background.
re: baby pictures, I started early with a friend's son.
That's a 50mm lens, although it's a 50mm f1.4, manual focus, and on film. You won't get quite the same effect with a 50mm f1.8 on a crop-format dSLR, but it'd be close and probably less out of focus, since it was so dark I was pushing it with the shutter speed so somewhat shaky handed.
Okay I think I found it. Anyhow, time for Sifu to do some research of his own, one thinks.
I thought research meant asking for help on Unfogged. No?
http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/lens/singlefocal/normal/af-s_50mmf_14g/index.htm [wider aperture, more expensive]
http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/lens/singlefocal/normal/af_50mmf_18d/index.htm [older, I think]
I don't even see how you hook that to the phone.
In my wilder dreams, I'd like to learn fire spinning. It worries me a bit that I don't think this is ever going to happen.
Do it!!! I took baton lessons for a year in middle school, and got good enough that they let me try twirling fire pretty soon into it. It was way less scary than it looks. Also, the coolest-looking or flashiest moves weren't necessarily the more difficult ones, so it was satisfying from the start.
I thought it would be super fun to take gymnastics classes alongside the kids but apparently they dont offer adult classes because adults were too embarrassed to try stuff in front of parents standing around, so they had to clear out the gym, which wasn't profitable.
But if the adults have something on fire to swing at other parents who laughed...
For now, I only trust myself to do the hobbies that I've always done. I know for positive that I will do vegetable gardening. Anything else might be some passing fancy.
"only trust myself' is an odd phrasing. Also, are you against passing fancies?
(Second sentence here in case Mobes needs a soft lob.)
I can't really imagine any hobbies - especially of the immersive type H-G describes - but I also can't imagine really retiring. My goal/expectation is simply to take fewer jobs when I get to retirement age. I did some drafting for a guy who basically did this - he came into his office, played some solitaire, made a phone call or two, and took me to lunch. He probably spent 10-20 hours a week actually working, but he kept structure in his life, and earned enough to be able to travel more than he otherwise would have.
I rather liked making models back in school, so it's imaginable that I would want to do that again, but I don't know - a bit of a busman's holiday, I think.